Global Security Newswire
Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues
Security Expert Sees Potential For WMD Strike on London Olympics
Al-Qaida could be mustering its resources to launch a WMD attack at this summer's London Olympics, a security specialist said in a Wednesday news report (see GSN, May 7).
The terrorist group has not staged a successful high-level strike in years and none that could rival the death toll caused by the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States. The absence of a corresponding assault could be due both to stepped-up counterterrorism efforts which have led to the death of former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden and deeply impaired the network's central core (see GSN, May 3). There is also the worrisome possibility of terrorists' willingness to wait for the right moment to present itself, according to Asian News International.
"The possibility of a patient al-Qaida is a disturbing possibility worth remembering," said Ioannis Galatas, ex-chief of Greece's Joint Military Intelligence Division Asymmetric Threats Department.
"It is possible that al-Qaida's success with the Sept. 11 attacks has set the bar too high for its current CBRN capabilities," the expert said, referring to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. "Al-Qaida may be concerned that a CBRN attack that 'only' kills dozens of people would be perceived as a relative failure and demonstrate its weakened position relative to its pre-9/11 stature."
Galatas said al-Qaida has offered no sign of giving up its quest to attain a weapon of mass destruction such as a radiological "dirty bomb" that would use conventional explosives to disperse radiological material across a wide area.
Adequate security preparations before the Olympics begin in July are crucial to preventing a terrorist attack in London, Galatas said. Up-to-date information has not provided indicators that terrorists are planning specific strikes against the British capital during the games, according to the report.
However, the devastation wrought by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and atomic reactor meltdown in Japan is indicative of how unpredictable some events are, Galatas said.
"Who could imagine a mega earthquake, a nuclear reactor meltdown and a tsunami in the same package?" the Greek expert noted. "In that respect why should we consider a CBRN attack as science fiction?" (Asian News International/Yahoo!News, June 20).
March 20, 2013
This report is part of a collection examining implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in Central America, South America and the Caribbean to-date.
March 12, 2013
The UNSCR 1540 Resource Collection examines implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1540, which requires all states to implement measures aimed at preventing non-state actors from acquiring NBC weapons, related materials, and their means of delivery. It details implementation efforts in all of the regions and countries of the world to-date.